Mets still face decisions before non-tender deadline
Although Mejia appears to be returning, other choices must be made by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday
NEW YORK -- Monday's revelation that the Mets plan to tender former closer Jenrry Mejia a contract takes much of the intrigue out of this week's non-tender deadline. But the Mets still have a slew of decisions to make prior to Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Chief among them involves shortstop Ruben Tejada, whose season ended when he fractured his leg in the National League Division Series. Tejada made $1.88 million in his second year of arbitration this summer, and he will be due for a modest raise after hitting .261 with a .338 on-base percentage in 116 games. But the Mets may be enticed to allocate those funds elsewhere if they feel confident in a middle-infield combination of Wilmer Flores, Dilson Herrera and Matt Reynolds, or if they plan on acquiring a player to supplement those three.
Tejada has been in the organization since signing as a 16-year-old back in 2006.
The Mets also must make a decision on setup man Addison Reed, who came to them in a waiver deal this past August. Although Reed could approach $6 million through arbitration, he posted a 1.17 ERA for the Mets in 17 appearances, and the club appears primed to keep him. The Mets are also likely to keep relievers Carlos Torres and Josh Edgin, whose first-time arbitration salaries would be relatively cheap.
The rest of New York's arbitration-eligible players are no-brainers: first baseman Lucas Duda, starting pitcher Matt Harvey and closer Jeurys Familia, all of whom will be tendered contracts.
The Mets' most significant non-tender decision involved Mejia, their former closer who received two suspensions this year after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Mejia will miss the first 100 games of this season, but a source said Monday that the Mets plan to tender him a contract in hopes that he can help them upon his return.
Non-tendered players throughout the league become free agents following Wednesday's 11:59 p.m. deadline, adding a glut of players to the open market less than a week before the Winter Meetings. The rest exchange salary figures with their old clubs, typically negotiating new one-year deals near the midpoint of those figures. If any player cannot agree to a deal with his club, both parties must accept the decision of an independent arbitrator, who selects either the player's figure or the team's figure with no room for compromise.